Note: Any news conferences from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot or other officials will be streamed in the video player above.
With the potential approval of a coronavirus vaccine on the horizon, Illinois hospitals and health organizations are gearing up to begin administering the treatment in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the FDA is recommending that pregnant women not get the vaccine, saying that the treatment was not tested on pregnant women during clinical trials.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across the state of Illinois today (Dec. 13):
Illinois Reports 7,216 New Coronavirus Cases, 115 Additional Deaths Sunday
Illinois health officials reported 7,216 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases on Sunday, along with 115 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, there have been 848,904 cases of the virus in the state since the pandemic began, along with 14,291 deaths attributed to the virus.
In the last 24 hours, state officials say 63,648 test specimens have been turned in to state laboratories, bringing the statewide total to 11,776,832 during the pandemic.
Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine Begins Shipping Across U.S.
The latest on the coronavirus vaccine from NBC 5's Lisa Chavarria Sunday morning:
Chicago-Area Frontline Workers Prepare for COVID-19 Vaccine
Here is last night's update on the COVID-19 vaccine by NBC 5's Vi Nguyen:
Illinois' Top Doctor Urges Residents to Stay Home This Holiday Season
With the holidays approaching, Illinois' top doctor has advised residents to stay home and avoid gatherings to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
At the state's daily coronavirus news briefing Friday, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, acknowledged that despite her pleas, some people are going to travel anyway.
"For those of you who will not heed this recommendation or people who have family or friends traveling to see you, I do recommend testing before or after your visits or your travel," she said.
Suburban College Student Dies by Suicide After Struggling With Isolation
An 18-year-old University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign freshman died by suicide in October while grappling with isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, his family said.
Now, his mother is sharing her family's tragic story in hope of sparing others from similar heartbreak.
"His potential was immense," Trevor Till's mother, Lisa Moore, said. "My boy could have been anything."
As a freshman living in a dorm at UIUC, the pandemic drastically changed life for the 18-year-old.
"He was a social person, so being alone was not him," Moore said.
Social isolation took a toll on Till, his mother said. On Oct. 21, the 18-year-old died by suicide.
"Students that are involved in lots of things like Trevor are suffering, because they don’t have those things," Moore said.
FDA Not Recommending Vaccine for Pregnant Women Right Now
Hospitals in Illinois, Indiana Prepare For First Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine
Pfizer has already stored the initial doses of its vaccine in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and near Kenosha, Wisconsin, following approval of the vaccine by the FDA on Friday.
Chicago’s Mt. Sinai Hospital believes as soon as Tuesday it will be able to begin administering the vaccine to health care workers.
“We did an internal survey, and 70 percent of our employees ... are willing to get vaccinated,” said pharmacist Tejal Patel.
Coronavirus in Illinois: Here's How to Check Hospital Bed Availability Near You
If you need to go to the hospital -- for coronavirus or any other reason -- will there be room for you there right now?
The Illinois Department of Public Health issues daily reports on the number of hospital beds and intensive-care unit beds that are currently available in each of Illinois' eleven regions. The state begins to issue warnings when a region's supply of open beds drops below 20%.
According to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health earlier this week, three out of four staffed hospital beds are currently in use statewide.
Track the hospital bed availability near you here.
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